This is the next post in my series on the handling of felon in possession of a firearm cases in Peoria, Illinois. My last article discussed how search and seizure issues impact gun charges involving felons. If one has completed their parole or probation then they will have the same Fourth Amendment rights as other citizens. This means that, depending on the circumstances, a search and seizure violation by law enforcement may result in a dismissal of the charges. How the Court will rule in any given instance, however, will always depend on the specific facts of the case. It is, therefore, crucial that you discuss your matter with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. In this article I will discuss the fact that prosecutors are required to prove the charges at trial. If you or a loved one require assistance then contact my office today to speak with an attorney.
Those with prior felonies sometimes make the mistake of thinking that there is “nothing they can do” after they have been arrested with a firearm. This is understandable when you consider the views of someone who has already had dealings with the criminal justice system. The fact of the matter, however, is that it is the government’s burden to prove that one knowingly and intentionally possessed the firearm. If the matter goes to trial, and the government cannot meet this burden, then the charges will be dismissed. Instances in which a defendant may wish to take a matter to trial can include those in which they were not aware that they were in possession of a firearm as well as those in which someone else actually possessed the gun.
Instances like the one I just mentioned are best explained by way of example. First, as I mentioned in a previous article, suppose a convicted felon borrows the car of another without knowing that there is a gun in the glove box. If officers stop the vehicle and find the gun, the individual may very well find themselves charged with possessing a gun that they did not know was in the car. At trial, defense counsel could submit proof that the accused individual did not own the car. Also, suppose that an individual is staying with their significant other and does not know that there is a gun on the premises, If the individual is arrested, the fact that it is not their residence can be raised at trial. Again, the best way to proceed will always depend on the specific facts of the case.
If you or a loved one have been arrested then contact my office today to speak with a Peoria criminal defense lawyer. I am a former prosecutor who is experienced in handling gun related charges. I believe that everyone is entitled to a strong defense and I am ready to assist you. Call today to speak with an attorney. I also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford. I also handle federal cases in Urbana.